Asylum legal aid lawyers are under continuous public scrutiny. On the one hand, these lawyers are portrayed as being solely motivated by profit. On the other hand, they are depicted as leftist activists frustrating the legal system. When assisting their asylum seeking clients under the state’s legal aid scheme, lawyers need to balance the client’s interest, the public interest in the administration of justice and their own interest in profit or survival.
The current book examines this balancing act and explores the role of the institutional context. It does so by studying the decision making of asylum legal aid lawyers in the Netherlands and England in respect of two ethical issues: ‘time vs. money’ and ‘hopeless cases’. This empirical research into lawyers’ professional ethics in practice will appeal to scholars engaged in lawyers’ ethics, policy makers and those involved in the regulation of the legal profession.